Muscle rest isn’t the only important thing after a good hard work out. One of the first things you should do after a workout is think about replenishing your nutrient stores. There are a lot of tips/tricks being spread in society today about what the best post-workout recovery meal and drink are. Before diving into the topic of what are the best things to eat post workout let’s get the basics of why nutrition is essential during this time.
During a workout, your body uses energy in the form of glycogen (which is stored in the muscles) to help you push to your max and achieve your workout goal. That’s why it’s extremely important to get these nutrients back in your body as soon as possible after your workout. Post-Workout snacks should consist of both carbohydrates and protein, with the focus being on protein. Consuming these macronutrients post-workout provides your muscles the ability to replenish the glycogen stores that your body used during your workout and helps rebuild the muscles. Optimal post-workout snacks normally are to be consumed between 15-20 minutes post training.
One of my favorite post-workout snacks is low-fat chocolate milk. Milk in general is a great post-workout recovery drink due to the fact that it is made up of whey protein. Studies show that whey protein is more quickly digested and absorbed in the bloodstream compared to other forms of protein. Milk also has another protein called casein. The casein protein found in milk has been shown to be digested at a slower rate than whey, resulting in a longer lasting and sustained source of amino acids for muscle recovery. Many protein shakes and powders do contain both of these proteins and are suitable for post-workout snacks. Low fat chocolate milk just happens to be my favorite due to the fact that it contains both carbohydrates and it is an excellent source of protein.
Check out the list below for some other great choices for post-workout snacks:
- Yogurt with berries
- Eggs and Toast
- Yogurt Smoothie with Fruit
- Protein Shake with Fruit
- Peanut Butter and Apple
- Greek Yogurt
- Tuna or Grilled Chicken on Whole Wheat Bread
- Low Fat Cheese and Fruit
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 5th Edition